BANBRIDGE Rangers Ladies started their league campaign in style last Thursday evening going top of the league on the opening week after putting seven goals past Belfast side Carnmoney Ladies.
Lauren Thompson was the star of the show for the Gers bagging herself five goals in the game and was unlucky not to have a double hattrick after having another effort disallowed for control of the arm.
There were eight goals in the first half evenly spread amongst the two teams with Rangers opening the scoring after ten minutes through Lauren Thompson but this advantage was quickly erased by the Carnmoney team who drew level immediately.
The determined Blefast side then took advantage of some hesitation in the Rangers back line to score twice in quick succession and move into a comfortable 3-1 lead by the half hour mark.
Banbridge Rangers response was positive with Lauren Thompson going free off the last defender and beating the Carnmoney keeper to bring the deficit back to one goal. Carnmoney were then gifted a fourth goal through striker Kayleigh Earle who grabbed her hattrick and proved to be their biggest threat throughout the game.
A neat bit of play down the right hand side through winger Christine Robinson put Captain Claire Beckett in on goal to bring Rangers back into the tie.
With a couple of minutes to go to half time Donna Donnell saw a shot go wide after using her electric pace to go clear of the last defender with Banbridge Rangers managing to find a fourth goal on the stroke of half time through Lauren Thompson who finished confidently to secure her hattrick.
After the break Rangers played better as a defensive united with Simpson, Cochrane, Shilliday and Gamble all working their socks off to deny Carnmoney any clear shots at goal.
It took until seventy minutes for the deadlock to be broken and it was striker Thompson who was on hand to curl an effort into the far corner from the edge of the area. This was followed up by Claire Beckett five minutes later who put the game in the control of the Banbridge side smashing the ball past the Carmoney keeper who had just previously denied Donnell a goal with a superb save pushing the close range shot onto the crossbar.
With just under two minutes to go Lauren Thompson bagged her fifth goal of the night firing into the roof of the net from close range. This was Rangers first league win in the NIWFA Leagues after a challenging inaugural season and confidence is brewing amongst the squad who now travel to take on Drumaness Mills this Friday evening with kick off at 7.00pm.